RIDGEWAY, Iowa — Anyone interested in learning more about soil health, including the positive impacts of regenerative practices such as rotational grazing of livestock, is invited to join the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) for a presentation by nationally recognized grazing expert Allen Williams on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Ridgeway Community Center (690 County St.). The cost of the “Laying Out the Promise & Challenges of Soil Health” session is $10 per person (kids are free). To register, click here. For more information, contact LSP’s Alex Romano by Feb. 22 at 612-767-9880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a follow-up to the presentation, LSP and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) will be co-hosting a free screening of PFI’s feature-length documentary on regenerative grazing, “Livestock on the Land.” The screening, which is open to the public, will take place at 6 p.m. at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Williams is out to prove that regenerative agriculture works well regardless of the foods being grown or raised, the landscape where the farming takes place, or the climate conditions that are present. During his presentation, he will show the positive impacts of regenerative practices on everything from soil, plant and animal health to ecosystem, climate and human resiliency.
“We have looked at three distinct regions of North America (Chihuahuan Desert, North Dakota, North Carolina), and documented significant resiliency regardless of whether we were dealing with a desert environment, a drought in the northern Great Plains, or the coastal plains of the Eastern Seaboard,” wrote Williams in a recent article for Graze magazine.
Williams, a 6th generation family farmer, “recovering academic” and founding partner of Grass Fed Insights LLC, Understanding Ag LLC and the Soil Health Academy, also authors a regular column for Graze. Williams spearheaded many of the early adaptive grazing protocols and forage finishing techniques and has spent the past 15 years refining them. He has consulted with more than 4,000 farmers and ranchers on multiple continents and on operations ranging from a few acres to over 1 million acres. Allen specializes in whole farm and ranch planning based on the concept of regenerative agriculture.
“Livestock on the Land” shines a light on regenerative grazing and its promise for the Iowa landscape. Central to the story is the role of community as an essential connective thread. Since premiering in January 2021, the film has garnered more than 139,000 views on YouTube and serves as an introduction to PFI’s vision for Iowa’s landscape: an Iowa with healthy soil, food, clean air, clean water, resilient farms and vibrant communities.
The screening will begin at 6 p.m. on the Luther College campus in Decorah (700 College Drive). After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Williams and Seth Watkins, as well as Wendy Johnson and Martha McFarland, farmers featured in the film. Guests will be able to learn more about the project and ask questions inspired by the film.
The Land Stewardship Project and Practical Farmers of Iowa are committed to creating an environment that follows COVID-19 safety best practices and balances in-person interaction and learning. Masks will be required at both the presentation and the screening. Presentation attendees will be required to sign a waiver. LSP in-person events are subject to change based on guidelines set by state departments of health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, see https://landstewardshipproject.org/covid-lsp.
About Land Stewardship Project
The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1982 to foster an ethic of stewardship for farmland, to promote sustainable agriculture and to develop healthy communities. LSP’s work has a broad and deep impact, from new farmer training and local organizing, to federal policy and community based food systems development. At the core of all of LSP’s work are the values of stewardship, justice and democracy. To learn more, visit https://landstewardshipproject.org.
About Practical Farmers of Iowa
Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit http://practicalfarmers.org.